Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Break 2011-Zion National Park

It is always so hard to choose which pictures to put on here after a vacation. I take A LOT of pictures. This trip was just what we all needed to escape the cold, dreary, rainy spring we have been having here at home. Zion was full of sun and perfect, short sleeve shirt temperatures. We took Aunt Tracy and Grandma and Grandpa Harker along with us too. This was our first chance to test out our tent trailer that we bought in January. It was awesome! We were able to fit all our stuff in it and still have plenty of room for all of us to sleep very comfortably. (G&G Harker slept in a tent)

I love how the side of the trailer pops out with this table. We can all sit and eat breakfast on it out of the cold.
The hikes in Zion are beautiful. Since it is early in the Spring, there are a lot of waterfalls that disappear later in the summer.

These are the "Emerald Pools."

This was the view on the way down from the Emerald Pools. It was amazingly gorgeous and this picture does not do it justice.

We saw some petroglyphs. Zions is really secretive about their petroglyphs and don't advertise how to get to them. This is the only one the ranger would tell us about.

As always, the boys earned their "Junior Ranger" badges.

Another cool hike was "Weeping Rock." The water right now is just pouring down through all the sandstone and it makes these green hanging gardens. Again, the view was so much more amazing than what a picture can show.

What would a camping trip be without a little sword fighting? (and yelling, and getting in trouble, and bugging each other, and getting dirty, and jumping off rocks, and just being crazy boys!)

Mike and I took one hike by ourselves. It was a short one that I can't even remember the name of, but the view from the top was awesome.

On the way home on Friday, we took a few side trips. One was to the ghost town of Grafton, UT. Mason keeled over and died so we put him with the rest of the dead people.

Our last stop was to Kolob Canyon where we took another short hike to the overlook. Look at those white, puffy clouds and blue sky. It felt great! Once again I am so grateful that Mike taught me how to love and appreciate camping and hiking. It is such a great time for my family to be together. I love everything about it, except for the smelly laundry when we get home. We already know we will have to return to Zion in the future because there was a lot we were not able to see. Mike and I are dying to do the Angel's Landing hike, but couldn't because it is too dangerous for our kids. Hopefully in a few years, we'll all be able to do that one together. It was a great trip and I'm glad we were able to get away for a few days.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Favorite Weekend

I LOVE conference weekend. Obviously it is great because we get to sit around in our PJ's all day and snack on whatever we want. But I also love it for the "recharge" I get from listening to all the uplifting and inspiring messages from true prophets and apostles of God. I'll be the first to admit that being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is time consuming, demanding, and a lot of work. There are times that I think to myself, "Is this all worth it?" Then I watch conference and I am again reminded that YES! It is all worth it and I can totally do it! Conference makes me want to be a better wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, teacher, YW president, neighbor, and everything else. It puts life back into perspective. It focuses me again on the eternal perspective of things. This conference in particular reminded me again that I am here for a purpose and there is work for me to perform. Will it always be easy? No. But the scripture "Where much is given, much is required" always comes to mind. I am so blessed and I know that Heavenly Father will make it possible for me to do all that he wants me to do. So, I loved watching General Conference. I wish it would last longer. (Which is really funny, because as a kid, I thought it lasted forever!)

So here are some things that kept my kids busy over Conference weekend. Friday the weather was so absolutely gorgeous that the kids went out to build a "fort" in our tree. On Sunday morning, the tree looked like this. Quite a change!
During the Saturday morning session the boys got busy making blanket forts. It got really frustrating when Miles kept tearing it all apart. They also worked on their conference books from Primary.

We have a tradition of letting the boys bring up their big tub of Legos during the Sunday session so they can quietly build while listening.
I'm always amazed at the things these guys build. I don't understand how they can piece everything together and actually make something out of it. These were the cool ships they made during conference.
I am so thankful to have a testimony of the Church. I know that by living and following the things I have been taught, and that I know are true, my life has been blessed. I know that true happiness and joy comes from doing what the Lord has asked us to do. I am so grateful for our living prophet and for all who lead and guide our church. I am thankful that I can raise my boys in the gospel and look forward to them serving as missionaries and becoming amazing husbands and fathers. I know that it really is all worth it!